Monday, July 11, 2011

Bungee cords and Baling Twine

Sometimes I worry a little that my children will grow up feeling that they were deprived during their childhoods. Ask me in about twenty years and I will perhaps know what effect our frugal and humble lifestyle has on people when they grow up. I am not sure how they will remember the years of wearing only hand me down and thrift store clothing, working to earn money for anything above food and shelter, wildcrafting, Farmer's Marketing and generally making do with what is at hand. I didn't design it to be this way. The life I envisioned had just a little more money for discretionary spending. It would have included a small allowance, a few more new clothes, a little more exposure to the inside of a restaurant and a little more travel.

In reality; however, life is what it is. I was brought up in a similar fashion, though my parents didn't do any entrepreneurial stuff. We ate simple foods, wore inexpensive and hand me down clothing and tried to keep both ends together in the middle. I remember well  when my dad wasn't able to work for various reasons. I remember things being tight. What I don't remember is feeling poor. We were spiritually rich. We loved each other and we welcomed others in our home and family. I hope my children will recall feeling the same way.

I see eveidence that my children are benefitting from not being able to run to the store for everything though. When we are out of one ingredient for a recipe, that almost never thwarts my clever kids. Applesauce will replace oil in baked goods, mayo can sub for eggs or shortening in many baked items as well. They all know how to use powdered milk for anything requiring liquid milk. It is nice to know that we can all put something passably edble together in spite of missing ingredients.

I am most entertained by my family's use of baling twine, Bungee cords, tarps, duct tape and glue! At this very moment, we have a kennel built out of recycled chain link panels. It has Bungee cord hinges and some of the broken brackets have been replaced by zip ties. Our vacuum cleaner maintains suction due to a duct tape repair. Our pigs are shaded and protected from the heat by a tarp and zip ties. Parts of some of our cars have been repaired with tape, glue and (sorry honey, I had to share it) dental floss!

I think we might get kicked out of some neighborhoods, but thankfully most members of our neighborhood get around on hooves or paws and don't concern themselves much with countryside renovations. Our human neighbors too are kind and forgiving of an area of dereliction here or there. I am thankful for the experiences we are having . Sometimes I wish my chldren had it a little easier, but it will be interesting to see how they turn out and whether they carry on the family dental-floss-holding -in-the headlight where mom hit the deer with the van legacy.

Enjoy yourselves!

P.S. Go here to read the lyrics to one of my favorite songs.


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